DOS: I’m here at the Madness Celebration at the MU Annex with Trevor Mbakwe. Trevor, how are you holding up after the wear and tear of 10 games of Big East basketball?
Trevor: The knee feels good. I still do rehab and little things like that to make sure that everything is going good, but it has been a wonderful process. I’m not regretting my decision at all since I have been back.
DOS: Do you have to be patient with yourself because it seems like every game you play , you add something new … for example, at St. John’s, you could get the offensive rebounds but the free throw touch wasn’t there…. And then the next game time the free throw touch was back. Do you have to be patient with yourself?
Trevor: It’s not easy when you miss three or four months of basketball, especially me because I’m a freshman and I’m playing at a level like before and with the Big East Conference, which we believe is the toughest conference, so it’s not easy and then with me not having been able to dribble the basketball for three months, grab rebounds, making free throws. The coaches tell me it will get better the more I play and like you said, I have only been playing three weeks, so you can’t expect much.
DOS: I thought your most impressive performance was against Georgetown when you were guarding Hibbert one on one, probably giving up ten inches to him.. He is probably one of the biggest opponents I have ever seen Marquette play. I mean he’s 7’ 4”. He’s not 7’ 2”. He’s a big guy, but you didn’t back down and you did a nice job on him.
Trevor: When I came to the Big East, I really did not look forward to going against guys like him and David Pagett (Louisville), but it’s just basketball. Hibbert is a really physical guy and he’s going to be a lottery pick somewhere. So I began to realize, yeah, I can play at this level.
DOS: I saw you play twice in high school at the Al McGuire Center when your two HS teams came in for Mark Miller’s Tournament. It seemed like the referees put you on the pines as you were in foul trouble a lot Is the college game being more physical more suited to your game?
Trevor: Yeah, I like playing more physical. That’s why I like the Big East Conference because there are big guys like Blair (Pitt) are strong and physical. I like physical games and once everything comes back then I’ll be able to play at that level but right now I’m just learning and sometimes the refs might let you play and sometimes they will not. It is trying to get to know the refs.
DOS: Last year, Lazar played very well in practice. He didn’t always show all his talents in games but for maybe a couple of times as a Freshman. This year as a Soph, he is playing just like he practiced back as a freshman. Dan Fitzgerald told me that after watching you at practice, he is looking for you to be one of the top post players that Marquette has had in recent memory. Tell us what advice your veteran teammates are giving you.
Trevor: Me and Lazar have been close since I got here. We’ve been through a lot of the same stuff. Lazar has been great helping me out. I think he was the most improved player in the Big East. Young from Pitt got the award but Lazar should have. Lazar is playing incredible right now. If I can follow in his footsteps for next year, I’m excited, but it’s been like in practice, I play way better than the way I play in games. Sooner or later it’s going to come where I’ll be able to practice the way I play in the games.
DOS: Congratulations on the bid and Good Luck vs Kentucky.